Mob Takes Selfie With Mentally Ill Indian Tribal Man— Then Lynches Him

Photos on social media showed the skinny tribal man, tied up with a lungi (a type of sarong) and his short torn, as he looked in puzzlement at his attackers.



An Indian tribal man in his late 20’s from Kerala’s Attappadi region succumbed to his injuries inside a police jeep on the way to a hospital, after he was allegedly set upon by a lynch mob. What’s even more shocking is the fact that his alleged assailants took a cruel selfie of him tied up and gleefully posted it on social media.

On Thursday evening, A. Madhu, who reportedly was not of sound mind, was handed over to the police by an enraged mob, who accused him of theft. Photographs which later emerged on social media showed the skinny tribal man, tied up with a lungi (a type of sarong) and his shirt torn, as he looked in puzzlement at his attackers. Completely unaffected by what they were doing to another human being, a man is smiling at the camera, as he took a selfie of the whole scene.

It is believed the photo was taken just before Madhu was brutally beaten with sticks.

In a video that has gone viral on social media, a group of men can be seen surrounding Madhu and yelling questions at him. A man standing behind Madhu kicked him in the back, which caused him to lurch forward a little. One of the men has a bag, out of which he produces some innocuous items like a cell phone charger, flashlight, rice and a bag of curry powder. All the items were reportedly stolen by Madhu.

The tribal man was later handed over to the police and the men claimed to have caught him.

"Madhu has previously been accused of robbing shops and we were trying to nab him for quite some time. He has three cases registered against him. The locals had got CCTV visuals of Madhu stealing from a shop. A few locals spotted him in the hills, tied him up and brought him to the town. Then they informed us and we reached the spot to take him into custody," a policeman told a local news outlet.

However, while Madhu was being hauled to the police station, he suddenly started vomiting.

The police officers put him in a jeep but Madhu fainted and then died before they were able to reach Government Tribal Specialty Hospital at the neighboring Kottathara district.

Police confirmed Madhu was beaten up badly. However, they did not say the man was attacked by the lynch mob, despite the photo and video evidence of the men hounding him.

“The people in the mob were all locals of Agali, not from outside. But we can't conclude that the death was caused by that. We can confirm the cause of death only after getting the post mortem report. He used to wander around and lived in the forest and caves. During the night he would steal rice from provision stores in the area. There is a theft case against him at Agali police station. On Wednesday, he stole rice from a store at Kalkkanda. On Thursday night, the mob went to the forest and beat him up," Agali Deputy Superintendent of Police T K Subramanian said.

However, Madhu’s mother denied her son was a thief.

“It was yesterday (Thursday) evening that my son was beaten up by a group of people in the forest (near Attapadi-Agali) saying that he was a thief. Then he was handed over to the police and soon he developed complications. He was taken to a hospital, where he died. He is not a thief, instead he was not of sound mind,” said the bereaved woman.

The inquest is over and Madhu will soon be sent for post-mortem.

The callous selfie and video of the mob’s treatment of Madhu has enraged social media.

In a Facebook post, journalist Manila C Mohan, said, “Those who don't have power won't understand the powerless, they won't understand that the powerless have the right to live. They aren't guilty, but they have the silent pleasure of conducting a murder.”

Usha Punathil, a former worker at Attappadi Hills Area Development Society also expressed her disgust at the incident.

"After stealing the land and everything the Adivasis owned, and making legislation for all that, now an Adivasi is beaten to death. He had nowhere to go when he was attacked. An Adivasi is killed accused of stealing food, then how should we who have stolen everything from them be killed?" she asked.





Banner/Thumbnail credit: Pixabay

View Comments

Recommended For You